Even as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) continue in Bengaluru, officials are preparing to carry out the National Population Register (NPR) updating exercise in the city early next year, along with the two phases of Census 2021.
NPR will be updated along with the first phase of Census, which involves house listings in the city. The second phase of Census 2021 will tally and enumerate the city’s population. While the first phase will be held between April 15, 2020 and May 29, 2020 for a period of 45 days, the next phase will be held from February 9 to 28, 2021, the Deccan Herald reported.
NPR includes demographic details of a usual resident — a person who has been residing in a local area for the last six months or more, or a person who intends to reside in the area for the next six months or more. It includes date and place of birth, permanent address, nationality (as declared), education and occupation, among other particulars. Census, on the other hand, is a broader database, which also includes more details like, inter alia, economic activity, religion, housing and household amenities.
The final NPR will be completed by 2021, confirmed Karnataka Census Director SB Vijay Kumar. He further added that the officials involved will not ask the residents for documents but will only register the types of documents that the individuals have.
SB Vijay Kumar sought to differentiate the NPR from the NRC process, which has been criticised ever since it was implemented in Assam earlier this year.
He further said that individuals can choose to furnish details of aadhaar number, PAN, voter ID card and driving license number while updating the NPR. He also added that the residents will not be excluded from NPR if they choose not to furnish details, the Times of India reported.
The population of Karnataka in the 2011 census was 6.1 crore and it is projected to increase to 6.6 crore after the NPR is updated.
On Tuesday, the Union Cabinet approved around Rs 3,500 crore for updating the National Population Register. NPR was first implemented in 2010 and updated in 2015 when it was linked with aadhaar.
The announcement of NPR process along with the two-phase Census comes amid a series of protests in Bengaluru against the CAA and NRC. Opposition leaders have claimed that the government was trying to bring in NPR to, in turn, bring in NRC. The Union government has also previously linked NPR and NRC on numerous occasions, stating that the population registry is the first step to citizenship registry. However, Home Minister Amit Shah recently made a volte-face and denied any link between NRC and NPR.